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IP.Downloads 2.3 Dev Update: Miscellaneous New Features

Posted by bfarber , in IP.Downloads 10 November 2010 · 3,255 views

search downloaders downloads
We have added some new features to IP.Downloads 2.3 that have been requested by our customer base and that we believe will help you better manage your files. Most of these features we pulled directly from our feedback forum, and we'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participates and shares their ideas through this channel. Your feedback directly helps shape the future of IP.Downloads, and we hope you like the new functionality that you have requested and will be available with version 2.3.


Enhanced Searching

In addition to the improved search performance coming in 2.3, we have added some new search filters and sorters that have been requested by our customers.

Using the advanced search form, you can now filter your IP.Downloads search results based on category, allowing you to search for files within specified categories easily. Additionally, we have added "Last Update Date" and "Rating" as new sorting options, allowing you to better control the order of the returned search results.

Lastly, we have overhauled the search results interface to present you with much more information which can be useful when reviewing the search result to verify if it is the file you are looking for. The results are now displayed in a traditional table manner, consistent with the manner in which files are displayed within the download manager itself. Additionally, the category breadcrumb is shown below the file name so you can easily see which category the file is contained in. The file rating, number of views and downloads, submitter information, and last update information are also available for you to review.

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Who Downloaded My File?

While the administrator can review all downloads in the ACP using the available reporting tools, often times users want to know who has downloaded a file from the public interface as well. A modification author or skinner may want to know who is downloading their skins, for instance. Or you may be curious who has downloaded a file before you yourself download it. Beginning with IP.Downloads 2.3 this functionality will now be available.

For this feature to work, you will need to ensure you have the setting "Log All Downloads" enabled in the IP.Downloads settings. Additionally, you will be able to control on a per-group basis who can view file downloaders and who can't. For the groups that are allowed to view file downloaders, all download counts will now be linked, and clicking the link will open a modal box within the window showing the downloaders.

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Mark All Categories Read

A new link has been added to the statistics bar on the download manager index page that allows you to mark all categories in IP.Downloads as read. If you used to be in the habit of marking each category as read one by one, you will no longer have to do this. You can just click the "Mark All Categories Read" link and be on your way.


Reporting Broken Files

We have added a new per-group option to allow you to control which groups are allowed to report files as broken. Some users have indicated that they have validating users reporting files as broken unnecessarily, so you will now be able to configure members of the validating (or any other) group to remove this capability.


Ban Users From Uploading

Beginning with IP.Downloads 2.3 you can now ban individual users from submitting files to IP.Downloads globally. While you have always been able to do this on a per-permission mask and per-category level, sometimes you want to ban individual users entirely from submitting, while not restricting them from downloading files. Rather than creating special permission masks for these users and applying them to the users individually, you can now just ban the users right from IP.Downloads.

To ban a user from submitting in IP.Downloads, go to the ACP, My Apps menu, IP.Download Manager, and on the home page under "Run Reports" enter the user's name into the Member Report field. On the member report screen you will be able to block or enable their ability to submit files.

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Change File Owner

Another oft-requested feature for IP.Downloads is the ability for moderators to change the file owner. You have always been able to change the file owner by running a file report in the ACP, however this capability has not been present on the front end...until now.

While super moderators will always have this ability, you can control on a per-moderator basis which moderators have permission to change file ownership from the front end. For moderators that have this ability, a small tag will appear next to the file submitter's name when viewing the file details page. Clicking the tag will present you with a form field where you can enter the new file owner's name, and change the file owner. The member type-ahead functionality is also utilized to allow you to more easily search and find the new file owner's name.


Latest Files

A new board index sidebar hook has been added that will display the latest files in your IP.Downloads system. There's not a lot to say about this feature - it does what it says. :)

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Better File Control

We have added a few new features that will allow you to better control your files when submitting them, as a user. Firstly, we have added the ability to specify on the submission form which screenshot should be the "default" screenshot for files. This default screenshot is then displayed as a primary screenshot when viewing the file information page, and is used whenever a screenshot for a file (that has multiple screenshots available) is requested, for instance in the random files block. To go along with this, we have changed the screenshot generation method to use a "cropped" thumbnail, instead of a traditional proportional thumbnail. Now, when configuring screenshot dimensions, you will only enter one dimension (for instance, "100" if you wish to have thumbnails at 100px x 100px). IP.Downloads will generate a screenshot in square proportions, cropping the edges as needed. This will allow for a more fluid layout with screenshot dimensions that can more easily be expected and worked with.

Additionally, we have added two additional fields to the file submission process: version number and change log. You can now supply a version number when submitting a file, which will then be displayed next to the filename on the file information page. The file version is preserved when a new version of a file is submitted, so the "Previous Versions" section will also display the previous version number next to it's filename as well. This allows you to more easily understand the previous versions section, as you can see which version each entry is. The other new field, change log, allows you to enter in changes that were made with the new version you are submitting when adding or editing a file. This change log is displayed below the file description on the file information page, and is preserved when you submit a new version of a file (i.e. the change log for each version is saved when a new version is submitted). This allows the user to view the full change log for a given file by clicking on a link presented on the file information page.

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In this screenshot, I clicked the "View all changelogs" link and the modal box appears showing me all changes in the current and previous versions.


As you will undoubtedly be able to tell from that last screenshot, the user interface has also been completely overhauled. Keep an eye out for our next blog entry, where we will go over the changes you can expect to see to the interface in IP.Downloads 2.3. We are really excited about these changes and think you will be too, once we are able to share them with you!

  • Fantleas likes this



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TheRevTastic
Nov 10 2010 08:31 PM
Great features there! Can't wait till Downloads is released!
:D
Thanks. Some most welcome enhancements.
Great :)
QQ before I purchase. Does it supports downloading from other links? Like for some files, I would like to host downloads on megaupload or rapidshare, etc. Can I submit the links, so that when user clicks download, it redirects them to other website?

Thanks!

Additionally, we have added two additional fields to the file submission process: version number and change log.

I'm jizzing myself here, this is amazing.
    • Neuro and Fantleas like this
Changelog, 'nuff said.
:wub:
I have to say that overall additions are very nice! I couldn't think of anything better atm myself. Well done IPS team, well done indeed!
One question: I want to put a custom field called "Article date". Will I be able to sort custom fields like this as well, displaying latest "Article date" in a list? I'm not talking about a search function here, really just a sort option for custom fields to easily list all latest files. Would really be appreciated!

QQ before I purchase. Does it supports downloading from other links? Like for some files, I would like to host downloads on megaupload or rapidshare, etc. Can I submit the links, so that when user clicks download, it redirects them to other website?

Thanks!


Yes, you can link to remote files.
Awesome! I will be purchasing the day new version is released!
Thanks!
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markopolo2002
Nov 11 2010 03:49 PM
This sounds really promising Brandon, only thing I can reiterate is a much easier to use 'quick search' for all area's, such as a 'search bar' across the top of the site - easy for me to suggest, probably a nightmare to code, but I do believe this would transform Invision as we know it, giving users a much easier to understand search facility straight away instead of having to enter the 'advanced search' area. Great to see those functions you mention already on their way though :)

I'm hoping the version number field isn't part of the URL?
Cheers
Marko
I am interested in the question of whether the change is implemented feature links on a file?
I find this quite an important feature that will allow for a lot of convenience.
Nice new features
@markopolo - you'll probably gather, but I used a lot of your feedback specifically in shaping the new version. :)

No, the version number is not part of the URL. It is there for cosmetic purposes (although it may be used in other ways in the future with some of our other ideas we have planned). In any event, as the version number will (theoretically) change from time to time, I didn't think it made sense to put it in the friendly URL.

@BlackHollow - I'm not sure I follow what you are asking.
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markopolo2002
Nov 12 2010 10:58 AM
Yep, I saw a few of those suggestions in there Brandon which is fantastic to see, also saw the interface changes which look absolutely spot on, can't wait for the new release!!. I'd be a million percent delighted though if we had word of a search facility like that suggested in the feedback area, basically a universal, stepped search with the option to set the default area to search in - can you offer any hint of something like this for the next release or am I way off on this one?? >_<
Cheers
Marko
I have not built a special search bar for IP.Downloads that will show site-wide. I expanded some of the filters/sorts, but felt that having a special search bar just for download manager would be rather inconsistent with the rest of our applications. Additionally, it would mean there would be two search fields on every page, which would be confusing to most end users.

We may or may not expand our built in site-search at some point, though, which would handle your requests (being able to filter better without going to advanced search page).
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markopolo2002
Nov 13 2010 02:56 AM
Brandon, you may have misunderstood what I meant originally, when I spoke about the search bar I meant this to be something like a 'global' search bar across the top of the site which would replace the existing 'quick search' - this wouldn't be specific to IPDownloads but would be global throughout the site meaning anyone could use it and a 'stepped' search would basically allow people to enter a keyword, choose whether to search titles and/or descriptions, choose the area they wish to search in (i.e. forums, downloads, gallery, etc) and then filter further into specific categories of the area if they wished to do so. Defaults could just be to search everywhere in all cats and areas, etc.

I believe this 'stepped' approach would allow users to quickly filter into the area's they are most interested in, rather than just returning all results from forums, downloads, etc and with the search bar they can do this easily and quickly rather than having to negotiate the 'advanced search', of which many of our users still don't know where it is!!.

Also, many users simply type a keyword and hit enter, and because our front page is IPContent the search is defaulted to that meaning 9 times out of 10 users see no results because IPContent doesn't contain any, whereas the downloads or forum section does but for a lot of people they simply stop searching, unaware that if they hit the "Downloads" or "Forums" tab they would get the desired results - if we had a stepped approach to searching I believe this problem would be alleviated altogether.

If this isn't possible, or you believe it isn't practical, what about even providing an ACP option for IPContent to specify the default search area, like myself, some people use IPContent merely for additional pages which they don't necessarily care to be searched, or in my case don't want to be searched, therefore having the option to prevent this or specify which area should be searched by default when on IPContent pages would be a start on the problem I see :)
Cheers
Marko
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markopolo2002
Nov 13 2010 05:16 PM
... also, any plans to introduce custom field searching again?
The problem is, all of that is handled in IPB. You would need to make an IPB feature request to change how the quick search bar works - it's not something IP.Content or IP.Downloads really has any control over (the HTML is embedded directly in skin_global).

I did not implement custom field searching at this time. It is not useful for a large number of installations (I understand it is useful for some - even here I'm sure we'd have uses for it), and it is extremely difficult to support with Sphinx. As to your question - there are no plans, but nothing is ruled out in the future. Who knows what the future will bring?

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